A lot of Aussie university students have big dreams of studying in Europe or the United States and I was the same. In comparison, not a lot of us seem that interested in China as a study abroad location.
After experiencing it for myself, I really want others to have the same amazing time that I enjoyed here.
Here are six reasons to choose China for your student exchange.
Strengthen International Relations
This sounds totally boring but realistically it’s beneficial for students to have connections and local knowledge of China. As Australia’s biggest trading partner, China and Chinese culture is really important and if you have in depth understanding of China you’re a valuable resource in a lot of industries.
Try Amazing Food
We’re pretty blessed to have great Chinese food in Australia thanks to our multicultural community. However, there is nothing like the experience of grabbing some street food in Suzhou, enjoying a traditional banquet in Beijing or trying some tasty xiao long bao in bustling Shanghai. Not to mention the price of food here is much lower.
Meet Awesome People
China sadly isn’t renowned for having friendly locals. In a country of 1.4 billion it’s really hard to generalise about the culture but from my experiences, Chinese people can be really awesome. I’ve met someof the loveliest people here who are willing to go out of their way to help you out and work tremendously hard without ever seeking recognition. The culture is obviously very different so you’re not going to strike up a conversation and bond with everyone you come across and at times the language barrier is a struggle but the people here can be really amazing and I’m glad to know I have some lifelong friends that I’ve met here.
Low Cost of Living
Compared to Australia, even Shanghai has a relatively low cost of living. Aside from totally touristic places everything from food, to transport and attractions are really inexpensive. Even as a student you can live very comfortably on not much money.
Push Your Boundaries
Nothing will help you to open your mind and challenge your preconceptions about life quite like China will. Everyday activities are really different here. Catching the subway is a crazy battle, navigating the city is a test of your language skills, travelling around is a big educational journey in Chinese culture. Living and studying in China will be an experience like no other. Challenging and difficult at times but inevitably amazingly rewarding!
See Incredible Attractions
I’ve had the chance to travel pretty widely in China and I’ve still barely scratched the surface! The Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square, ancient water towns in Suzhou, surprisingly beautiful beaches in Sanya and the crazy cityscape of Shanghai. There are thousands of amazing places to see in China and domestic travel can be incredibly cheap if you’re not afraid of long-ish train journeys and budget accommodation.